A Tim Hortons in Vancouver, Canada is deep in the fryer as of late for an anonymous employee pouring water under two homeless men, Friday, sleeping outside the store.
The donut and sandwich chain has since apologized for the action, but like most scandalous incidents, has only done so since a social media boycott campaign came to its attention.
Tim Hortons claims to have opened up an internal investigation regarding the matter in the shadow of the Twitter and Facebook call to boycott the Robson St. location. So far, the boycott effort has gained several thousand hits.
Of course, Tim Hortons declared in an email statement issued Sunday that the actions of the store employee do not reflect the alleged values of the business.
The statement partially read:
On behalf of Tim Hortons we sincerely apologize. This owner is committed to personally apologizing and making amends with this individual. He will also be making a meaningful donation to Belkin House, a local Vancouver shelter.
The statement does not specify who the store employee is, or whether it was the actual owner, but a woman who works across the street from Tim Hortons, Peggy Morrison, witnessed the entire event. She offered a full description of the inconsiderate employee to a fellow store clerk and was informed the description matched the profile of Hortons’ manager.
According to Morrison, she was working across the street, in her own store, when a man exited the donut shop carrying a bucket of water, which he proceeded to pour under one homeless man in order to sneakily soak the man from beneath, sly-like, as the water seeped up through the man’s cardboard and blankets.
Once he was done, the Tim Hortons employee did it to another man on the other side of the store’s doorway.
After that, Morrison claims the man went back into the store, then came right back out with a broom and went about sweeping the remains of the two homeless people away, down the sidewalk. Presumably by then, the two men had scurried away to get warm and dry. After all, it is the middle of winter, and we’re talking about Canada, here, not Hawaii.
The two men’s possessions swept down the sidewalk consisted of cups, soaked cardboard slabs and plastic garbage bags.
— Arianne N. Summach (@Arianne_Nicole) February 7, 2015
Saving face on behalf of the Vancouver Tim Hortons, CBC.CA interviewed one area panhandler identifying himself as Pete who claims the store has “always been nice to him, often bringing him coffee and soup.”
According to Pete, it’s not uncommon for people to sleep around the store much of the week, and they often leave a fair amount of garbage lying about.
Not to go too soft on Tim Hortons, though, Pete did say he didn’t believe it was an honorable thing to do, soaking people on a public street like that.
Why the employee couldn’t have simply woken the men and asked them to move along is up for question, but it seems pretty obvious it’s because the homeless get no respect.